Friday, June 26, 2015

Double Age Group Awards! (& MCM Week 1)

Here I am, almost done with Week 2 of Marine Corps Marathon training, and I still haven't recapped Week 1 or my two races last weekend. I'm going to smush everything together into one post and try to be brief.

Two races makes for a busy weekend!

MCM - Week 1

I'm going to report on each of my 19 weeks of training to keep me accountable. Week 1:
  • Ran 4 times for a total of 15.8 miles
    • Track: 1600, 2x800, 4x400 w/ 3 minutes rest (4.2 miles)
    • Easy runs: 3.1 and 3.5 miles - forgot to include strides at the end of one of them
    • Long run: 5 miles 
  • Strength training: 3 days (yay me!)
  • Yoga: a couple of random poses most days, but didn't make it to a class
(skip ahead to Week 2 of MCM training)

Women's Distance Festival 5k

On Saturday, my long run day, I was signed up for the Women's Distance Festival 5k. This race is a small, women-only race held in Reston. It coincides with the end of the Women's Training Program and many of the WTP participants participate. For some of them, it is their first race! I'm very fond of this race and its supportive atmosphere. My current 5k PR of 32:24 is from last year's WDF. 

WTP Coaches (orange) and Participants (purple) at the WDF 5k
(photo courtesy of Brian Kent)

As excited as I was about the race, it posed a conundrum for my long run, which was to be between 4 and 7 miles. Two days before the race, the obvious solution hit me. I parked at, and went to, PR Reston where my Distance Training Program was meeting. When they went out to run, I headed in the opposite direction and ran 1/2 mile to the starting location of the WDF. After the race, I ran back to DTP, and ran one more mile with my training group, giving me 5 miles for the morning.

Since the race was part of my training run, I decided it was best to run it at a training run pace instead of going all out like I had last year. Mentally this was tough. Running the race at a 10:27 pace last year felt amazing. I honestly didn't know I had it in me! Running slower this year - partly because it was a training run and partly because I'm not in the same shape I was last year - felt discouraging. I finished in 38:17, a 12:20 pace. 

The finish line is in sight!
(photo courtesy of Brian Kent)

I tried to keep the bigger picture in mind - that I had made the full training run my priority and kept my MCM commitment to myself. And that I really enjoyed running with my friend Coach Norma and with Mary, who was running her first race in 17 years. Viewing the race through Mary's eyes helped me reframe my perspective.

Norma, Mary, & me at the start of the race
(photo courtesy of Brian Kent)

Run With Dad 5k

Sunday was Father's Day, and the Run With Dad 5k. My family has done this race the past several years; I run with my dad and Freddy runs with Rick. It's an annual tradition I look forward to. And it is generally pretty easy for me to run at my dad's slower pace so I don't tend to think of it as a race. 

BUT, as I mentioned above, I'm not in the same shape I was last year. And my dad is in better shape than he was last year. And he runs straight through until he absolutely has to walk, unlike my style of planned run/walk intervals. So I found the race, especially the first half, harder than I expected! Again, I had to focus on not getting discouraged and keeping things in perspective. I'm just starting my training cycle. My speed and endurance will improve.

I love this picture of me & my dad from the race!
(photo courtesy of Potomac River Running)

Freddy says he is done with 5ks for a while. Shorter distances for him for now!
(photo courtesy of Potomac River Running)

We were really excited that my dad placed third in his age group. He has placed in his age group before, but he tends to diminish the accomplishment by pointing out there were only three (or fewer) men in his age group. This year, however, there were five! I always vicariously enjoy it when my dad gets an age group award because I know that I am too slow to ever get one myself.

Who Said You Were Too Slow?

On Monday night we had the Women's Training Program (WTP) celebratory dinner. We celebrate our accomplishments over the past weeks and encourage each other to keep accomplishing more. 

There are also age group awards for the subset of WTP women who ran the Women's Distance Festival. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard my name announced as the winner in my age group. I almost cried. Really. My prize was a pair of socks that say "She believed she could...So she did"

I believe I can.


  1. Way to go on your first week of training! So nice you were able to run with your dad on Fathers Day. Great picture of your husband and Freddy...maybe he'll come out of retirement for next year's race ;) ?

    1. Thank you Jennifer! I'm trying hard to fight off that feeling that I am somehow behind on MCM training.

  2. Great post. Major congrats to you AND your dad! That pic of you two is great. And for the record, I believe you can too!

    1. Thanks for the congrats and for believing in me!